Several months of pure tension and lust for another gig by these amazing Finns was all poured into this day, 29th December 2005, even though my heart was pounding at a lunatic pace ever since I first laid a foot on Helsinki ground! After “torturous” preparations to be in my best gothic self, I left the hostel and arrived in front of Helsinki’s most notorious club around half past four in the afternoon. Even had an opportunity to meet one of the political candidates that was running for the position of Finland’s primeminister, which sent me laughing all the way to Tavastia – “Sorry, no, gotta go to the concert!” and the nice guy was left surprised and puzzled. I’d pass an opportunity to meet God himself for The 69 Eyes!
And my choice was soon to be rewarded, as all the members were passing one at a time by the ever-growing crowd of goths from all around the world. Me and my newly-met friends were greeted first by Jussi, then Archzie, Bazie while Timo was very cute and shy, he first wawed and said “Hi” to us, and then called someone inside to open the door. Really left an impression of a simple guy! But of course, Mr. 69 himself had an entire different manner of entering Tavastia! Jyrki swooshed by us with a greeting uttered in his beautiful, dark voice, and then later he exited and greeted us again, this time with THE sign, tongue between his pointer and middle finger! Such a rockstar that Jyrki is! Official entry was from 21:00, and the time passed very quickly, while the excitement grew even more faster! Entering among the first five, I quickly left my wardrobe and thanks to my friends Mira, Carlos and Maria was able to get the place in the first row, after the sliding door to the stage itself were opened. I also have to mention that before that, thanks to the backstage guy and of course me being a webmistress of their bosnian website, the members got my gifts, which were simple but just one more sign of my love and appreciation for their music! Digital cameras and such were forbidden, but no one was reading the sign, and the first rows as well as most of Tavastia was blinking with various equipments brought for one purpose-to capture some of The 69 Eyes blood ritual magic on film.
Tavastia looked to me much smaller than it did on the Helsinki Vampires DVD, but it just added to the strange charm and eerie je ne sais qui of this place! The crowd enjoyed tremendously the music that was played, from Johnny Cash to Danzig, and you could literally feel the excitement of being in the best place in the world at that moment! After soundcheck, in an hour or so after entering, the openers of the Helldone festival entered the stage! Charon played an incredible gig, giving the audience their most famous songs, from “Four Seasons Rush” to “If”, as well as a taste of their new album “Songs For The Sinners”, which the crowd loved! After a well-played set, Charon gave the stage to the roadies who cleaned the stage and prepared the scenery for our Helsinki Vampires. Audience was already screaming at the sight of their “Vampire” engraved instrument cases, let alone the background flag, which proudly showed itself after the performance of their finn friends! As I was close enough to read the setlist taped to the floor, I was more than pleasantly suprised when I saw “Ghettoway Car” and “Babysitter” amongst their more known songs, from the show-closer “Brandon Lee” to “Wasting The Dawn”. And when Maria spoted “Still Waters Run Deep”, I just couldn’t believe it-one of my favourite songs (even though ALL their songs are my favourite, believe me!), that always puts me in trance when I watch it on DVD or simply listen to it, and now I will see it live! Somehow I didn’t think I’d see it performed by The Eyes, especially on Helldone, as I expected more “glam-rock” orientation of this gig. So my fingers were already trembling, both my body and mind were in a state or rush, and though still firmly gripping the fence (which was so close to the stage I could touch it!), my conscience was never far from leaving me, something I haven’t felt since their gig at Sziget! Must be their strong vampiric influence… Mira, who was next to me, was as excited and close to fainting as I was, though it was her 20-something Eyes concert!
Sometime around the haunted hour of 12, the lights went out and the song from “the Lost Boys” soundtrack, “Cry Little Sister” was starting! The screams and singing immediately began, and after a few moments, THEY appeared on stage! Five ultra-sexy figures “all dressed up in black leather”, with vampire charm and dirty looks, while “Devils” began its haunting rock pace! Everyone in Tavastia sung with them that night, and you could taste that raw power (pardon the pun!) while grasping for air in the middle of devilish verses, that simply demanded to be reproduced from your mouth! After the show-opener, immediately followed “Ghettoway Car”, strong and fast, uncoffined from their album “Savage Garden”, then “Hevioso”, that left an impression of the african god himself pounding on the drums – bravo Jussi! At times, Mira and I were turning to each other and sang the songs, extatic and happy as the rest of the Helldone audience. “Christina Death” with a special introduction by Jyrki, who loves to play with perhaps the best part of its lyrics: “Drinks absinthe after giving head”…yes, such a tease! “Wasting the Dawn” was monumental as usual, and the small dimensions of the club added to the atmosphere. When “Still Waters Run Deep” started, when I actually realised that they are really playing it, I couldn’t come to my senses! If I wasn’t already in love with the song, I would’ve become after Jyrki’s melancholic performance! He sung it so powerful and beautiful, and at the end went to his knees, repeating almost a whisper in the microphone “I’m so lonely…” Everyone felt a gulp in the throat at that moment, with an incredible urge to hug him…Once again, a wonderful song!
Oh, but the nostalgic feel was quickly transformed to orgies on stage! Jyrki was jerking and licking the pole of his microphone, which sent the crow into a frenzy! Jussi was doing the same, spitting beer and kicking his drums like it was his last performance-the man gives him absolute best on every gig! The rest of The Eyes wasn’t behind them in any sense, Archzie was seducing with his guitar playing and his bright blue eyes, this time not covered in dark sunglasses as usual, Bazie was once again showing his musical perfection on both the left and right side of the stage, quickly changing place, while Timo was in full gothic action! Despite minor troubles with his headset (and while we’re at that, they also had minor troubles with the sound, but almost unnoticeable in performance), the whole time everyone could tell Timo was in an excellent mood, constantly smiling and doing “the Lost Boys” dance with Jyrki! Since I was standing between Archzie and Timo, and even closer to Timo, the whole time he was looking at me, smiling, pointing the metal sign, which was a special pleasure by itself! All that went through my head was “Wow, Timo!” and I guess before that I didn’t even notice how much of a sexy vampire he really was, I guess I was blind by my love for Jussi hehe! Oh, and during “Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams”, Timo and I were singing the chorus to one another, so cool!!! They fucking rocked Tavastia to its foundation that night!
“Framed In Blood” was so well played it could might as well stop my heart right on the spot! Strong guitar riffs on this song made a ripple impact on the audience and all of us were once again jumping moved by The 69 Eyes raw energy! I remember thinking this was, simply put, the best time, the best hours of my life, and that I wish I could spend every hour of it on a 69 Eyes gig! Judging by the crowd in Tavastia, everyone felt the same. And before you know it, the gig was sadly coming to its end – Helsinki Vampires turned around showing their muscular back while the first melodies of “Lost Boys” were beginning! Seeing Jyrki shaking his ass and doing his famous dance with Timo again was breathtaking! Every damned soul was singing ” You wanna rock, nothing’s gonna make you stop” with them!
The encore this time were three songs, starting from “Forever More”, to the classic, “Brandon Lee”. “Only You Can Save Me” in between, done with lights out and just a couple of lightbeams peered and reflected onto two disco-balls on two coffins that were mounted on amplifiers on each side of the stage. Very dark and dreamy-like atmosphere. “Brandon Lee” which was and still is the last song of The 69 Eyes show left the crowd just asking for more! But the velvet touch of the Vampires ended, and the audience was slowly exiting the stage space, still in shock and disbelief about what they’ve just witnessed.
But the excitement was in no way over! Bazie was in the lounge-bar area, taking photos with fans, the guys from Charon were also around (I bumped into and was greeted by Juha-Pekka in Semifinal-club connected to Tavastia by a weird curve of stairs!), and the feeling that this was something between only a couple of hundred of people, therefore more intimate than other shows, didn’t fade away. Gothic people from Germany, Finland, Russia, France and other european countries were hanging out with Jaegermeister in their hands, discussing tonight’s gigs, and I’ve met a bunch of new friends, some of them also webmasters of sites devoted to The 69 Eyes.
After going to check Lost & Found (most popular bar in Helsinki!) with Tom and Corinna from Cantus Infernum, I’ve decided to head back and see what’s going on in Tavastia, which was already closing. And just in time! Archzie and Jussi quickly left Tavastia and again greeted their fans outside, and couple of minutes later, Bazie followed them! We swarmed around him, and even though crew was waiting for him, he was very kind and took time to talk and take pictures with all of us (unfortunately, the batteries in my digital camera were too low then), until one of the roadies called him “Bazie, where the fuck are you!”, to which we all laughed and Bazie greeted us for one last time and went into the van. The next one was Timo-Timo! You could see on his face how tired he was, eyes all bloody and everything, and yet he spent a lot of time with us, taking photos and talking with us! First I took a pic with him, and then afterwards asked him to sign my “Paris Kills” album, to which he said “Oh, sure” and while he was signing it, I introduced myself and where I came from, and he made a strong reaction to that! First he looked me again into the eyes, and said “Oh, that’s you!”, and then with a significant tone in his voice: ” I SAW YOU!”, to which I smiled “yeah”, and then, again with a very significant tone: “THANK YOU!” (he meant the presents)- enough to say a big grin never left my face! I said “You’re welcome…” and I still couldn’t believe I’ve met him, and the fact he spent most of the time with me there just added to that incredible feeling! So, Timo soon left too, and Jyrki was either already gone or found some secret passage way from Tavastia (transforming into smoke perhaps?). Anyhow, the crowd was leaving, and I made my way back to the hostel, through Helsinki’s main street, while snow was silently falling and marking an end to this beautiful night. Ever since my first day in Helsinki, where after only 20 minutes of my first stroll on Mannerheimintie (the main street) I’ve bumped into Jussi, to being on their concert again, this was one of the highlights and of course, main reason of my visit to Finland, and an extraordinary goth’n’roll experience. Already counting days to Helldone 2006!

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